Princeton Review and Center for Green Schools Release Annual Green College Guide

NEW YORK — The Princeton Review and the U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools released the third annual edition of the nation’s most environmentally responsible “green colleges.”

Profiling 322 institutions of higher education in the U.S. and Canada that “demonstrate notable commitments to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation,” the 232-page book is aimed at helping students select green schools that will both enhance their college experience and help them achieve a competitive edge in job-finding.

The 322 schools — not ranked in a hierarchy — were chosen for the book based on a survey conducted in 2011 of 768 schools across the U.S. and Canada. Schools were then given scores ranging from 60 to 99 based on sustainability-related policies, practices and programs.

The schools that earned a spot in the book received scores of 83 or above in the assessment.

Prospective students and parents have a combined buying power of at least $464 billion during the time of their college search, according to Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for Green Schools at USGBC.

“Colleges and universities need to demonstrate a deep commitment to sustainability to the 68 percent of students who say that a school’s commitment to sustainability is part of their decision making process,” Gutter said.

In addition to application, admission, financial aid and student enrollment information, the guide highlights each school’s most impressive environmental and sustainability initiatives.

“Green Facts” sidebars in the guide report statistics and facts on the school’s use of renewable energy sources, recycling and conservation programs to the availability of environmental studies programs, and green jobs career guidance.

The guidebook also includes an introductory section discussing sustainability issues and advice on how to live green on campus.

The Princeton Review, an education and test-prep service provider, first created the resource for college-bound students in 2010.

The Guide was developed with funding support from United Technologies Corp, founding sponsor of the Center for Green Schools — a Hartford, Conn.-based company providing energy-efficient products and services to the global aerospace and building industries.

“College-bound students are increasingly interested in sustainability issues,” said Robert Franek, Senior VP/Publisher at The Princeton Review. “Among 7,445 college applicants who participated in our 2012 ‘College Hopes & Worries Survey,’ nearly 7 out of 10 told us that having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school.”